It's always about the fish, but it is also always about where fishing takes you. Spent the weekend exploring some creeks in Northcentral/Northwest PA. Some recent thunderstorms have provided some much needed water to some streams, but other valleys are still in dire need of some rain. Remember, if the water is over 67 degrees, find another stream, chase warm water species, tie flies, but leave the trout alone. Last weekend, I watched people hammering on stressed trout just trying to breathe that were stacked at the mouths of the tribs on Big Pine. Catch and release doesn't do any good if they just swim off to die.
Monday, May 28, 2018
All the rain has made floating pretty good the last few weeks. It has also kept the brookie streams in good shape. We better keep getting rain if the temps are going to stay in the 80's. I saw the first rattlesnake of the year on Friday, wasn't able to snap a photo as we were in a spot where we never would have been able to get the anchor to hold, but he was right on the water's edge. Here are a few photos from this weekend.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Got some fishing in and finally some decent dry fly fishing the last couple weeks before the rain set in yesterday. Creeks in northcentral PA are going to be high/blown out for while, but we could use the rain to keep the flows nice as we start heading into summer. It has been an odd spring, but the hatches and fishing are definitely picking up. Still seeing lots of caddis and March Browns and the Green Drakes should be right around the corner.
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Did a little floating in Pine Creek Valley Friday. The cloudy weather made the streamer bite good, but cold and rain kept most of the bug activity to a minimum. I did actually see some grannoms, march browns, and hendricksons, but it was spotty and nothing was really moving to the surface. I have a feeling everything is going to hatch at once up here in northcentral PA. With the weather this coming week, minus the snow coming tonight, fishing should be pretty good the next few days. Hope everyone is getting out and enjoying some time on the water.
Friday, April 20, 2018
So winter is finally gone on the East coast.? Summer was here last weekend, and we took advantage by getting out the boats and trying to anticipate a grannom hatch that obviously is screwed up this year. Got a few good days of fishing in, before the rain, snow, and winter came back. Didn't catch a pile of fish and the bugs never materialized, but there was enough action to keep it interesting and definitely had a good time hanging out with good friends, which is really what it is all about. I've been going stir crazy the last few months, especially with all the politics going on in PA right now regarding PFBC, license fees, legislation to oust our Executive Director, etc. A few days on the water was much needed! Looks like the weather is finally going to break here and the on-stream therapy can begin.
Monday, March 19, 2018
Saturday I attended the last of PFBC’s Sportsman Forums. Several presentations were given on various functions of the PFBC such as the un-assessed waters program, stocking program, law enforcement, engineering and maintenance (think dams, docks, and parking lots), as well as a detailed discussion on the budgetary needs. It also appears there is a big push to expand fishing as a sport and to try and get more people involved through various educational programs and marketing efforts. This seems like a step in the right direction to me.
I found it interesting that of the 6 forums, this was only the second where Representatives from the State’s Legislature were in attendance (Representatives Wheeland and Everett). Given the recent issues surrounding funding for the PFBC, the stocking program, and SB 935 (which is an attempt to forcibly remove Director Arway from his position by creating an 8 year term limit on the position and replace him with an appointee), one would think there would be at least some interest in the discussions at these forums. I guess it just goes to show how little fishing really matters to a lot of our elected officials despite the 1.2 billion dollars of revenue it generates in PA each year. I’ve been told Rep. Wheeland is in support of a funding increase for PFBC and opposed to SB 935. Rep Everett appears to also support a funding increase but believes Arway needs to go to get it, to the point of threatening to sue to make it happen (http://www.meadvilletribune.com/news/house-nears-vote-on-bill-targeting-fish-and-boat-chief/article_6c80ef91-8e28-57e3-8628-850076273864.html).
From the presentations and discussions before and after the forum, my take was that the direction PFBC would like to go in regards to trout is to phase out stocking of trout over wild trout and allocate those fish/resources elsewhere, i.e. areas of low to no wild trout presence in order to increase recreational opportunities and hopefully grow the sport. Obviously, this will not be an overnight undertaking as stocked trout are a big deal in PA. This is evidenced by the reaction to closing down a hatchery and removing 220,000 trout from the over 3.2 million PFBC stocks each year. I am not going to rehash my previous post from the Wild Trout Summit in its entirety, but want to again stress that this is going to take time and education as well as the wild trout crowd advocating for these changes. This includes making your voice heard to your Representatives on issues like allowing PFBC to control their license fees and killing bills like SB 935. Also, I encourage everyone to show up to meetings such as this and the one that occurred regarding Penns Creek a couple weeks back and let your voice be heard.